The sky is blue. The snow is deep and powdery. Skiers are carving gentle turns down the mountainside, at peace with the world. BLAM! Out of nowhere comes a “hotdogger,” a skier who may or may not be in control. He--and it usually is a young man between 18 and 26, skiing macho-style with his buddies--roars by. Down goes the innocent skier and off goes the culprit.
One too many reckless skiers have hit and hurt one too many people, and now a Colorado prosecutor is striking back. Those cheers in the background are from all the people who obey the rules of the trails and are tired of the skiers who think the rules apply to everyone else but them.
Dist. Atty. Gregory Long filed felony charges in Grand County against two out-of-control skiers who collided with children. An Iowa girl died in the incident at the Winter Park ski resort and an 8-year-old San Diego boy suffered serious leg injuries when he was hit while skiing with his family at Steamboat Springs.
Many ski areas do their best to educate visitors on safe skiing; accidents have been reduced in recent decades. But state governments need to help in the safety crusade by requiring that the ski areas report any accidents and by defining reckless skiing as a criminal offense. Dist. Atty. Long should be supported in his crusade by every recreational skier who wants to enjoy the slopes in safety.